Back for its 14th outing, Sounds from the Other City (SFTOC) continues to champion the very best new music, art and creativity. Like all the best festivals, it has a top line-up with established acts, exciting new-comers and plenty of unique performances. It's a perfect festival in a day experience; and, conveniently, it's right on your doorstep.
Iconic locations including Salford Cathedral and Islington Mill host happenings alongside community centres like The Angel Centre, cafes, places of worship and pubs. There are new additions too with the likes of print studio Hotbed Press and Five Four photography studio getting in on the act.
The full 2018 festival is bigger than ever with over 130 acts. It's a list as long as your arm, but we've tried to select a few of our must-see highlights from the multiple venue festival...
Indie legend Pete Kember formerly of the groundbreaking Spacemen 3 (AKA Spectrum) performs at St Philips Church. Also on the bill at St Philips are the wonderfully named Have You Ever Seen That Jane Fonda Aerobic VHS - worth a look on the name alone.
Possibly the hottest property at the moment, Goat Girl, are back to headline at Unit 5 Regent Trading Estate. Head over to the Old Pint Pot for a bill that includes the guitar-fuzz of 20-year-old Amsterdam musician Pip Blom, while Reform Radio will take up a residency for a day at The Egerton Arms, hosted by comedy landlord Jack Galereux. It offers a unique day, including DJ roulette, a musical pub quiz, panel discussions, interactive games and a meat raffle (where confusingly, no actual meat prizes are on offer).
The wonderful Deli Lama provides the perfect spot to refuel, and features an event by poetry collective Young Identity, whose own wordsmiths will perform along with some special guests.
Bolton vocalist and self-confessed biro basher, Chrystal, appears at Five Four Studios, while the weird and wonderful end of the noise spectrum can be found with Fat Out's curated stint at the Kings Arms....
Jam-packed with oddities, Fat Out's line-up is reminiscent of the legendary Kings Arms Festivals. This event will utilise the various nooks and crannies of a truly great boozer to deliver an array of talent and curiosities: super-group Luminous Bodies are guaranteed to bring the noise and a full-on late night karaoke dungeon is available for the brave and boozy. Notable other mentions include Warp Records' trance-inducing 'rave-voyeur' Lorenzo Senni, BAFTA-winning actor and hip hop stalwart, Burgundy Blood and multi-instrumentalist Anni Rossi.
Local boys, and Marc Riley favourites, DUDS, play at Hot Bed Press and MistaJam's current hot-ticket XamVolo performs at Five Four Studios. Grime and hip-hop are represented with Manchester trailblazer, Sleazy F, performing a very rare outing of his full live show DRIPSET.
This year's festival also features a specially-commissioned world premiere of a brand new audio-visual collaboration between contemporary composer Laura Bowler and visual artist Rachel Goodyear, performed with a chamber ensemble of musicians from the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra at Salford Cathedral.
There will be after-parties galore, including Thirsty Girls Collective, who bring their Simpsons-themed Homerpolooza night to The Salford Arms, and disco crew Night Fantasy return to shake The Old Pint Pot once again, this time aided by Peckham pickers FYI Chris.
Invisible Wind Factory promise a "gleeful pummelling" of the Islington Mill's ground floor and there's a great indie disco at The Eagle Inn.
Of course, these are just a selection from an unbelievable bill. Take a look at the massive line-up and choose your own highlights below...
Sounds From The Other City
Sunday 6th May 3pm onwards £25
Various venues in and around Chapel St
£25 – For tickets - click here or can be bought over the counter at the Kings Arms pub. Tickets do tend to sell out early.
Words by Ian Leslie